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Spring Cleaning: How we can extend the life of our clothing

Alexandra Selig

3 min read

Feb 12

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With Spring Cleaning upon us, many of us are going through our closets and unsure of what to do with all the old clothing we never wear anymore. Millions of clothing end up in landfill every year, so before you toss out all of your old clothes, consider ways to extend the life of your items to keep them out of landfill.


Here are a few creative ideas for repurposing clothing and extending its life in an ecofriendly way:


  1. Turn old stained or torn clothing into rags or dog toys

  2. Cut your jeans into shorts

  3. Dye stains so they aren't noticeable

  4. Iron on patches to cover up holes or give your clothing a new look

  5. If you are handy with a sewing machine you can turn garments into something new, like a blanket or scarf!

  6. You can always try to resell your clothing on sites like Poshmark and Ebay, or send in to places like Thredup, The Real Real, or get a Take Back Bag for Clothing in ANY condition with For Days: (they even take clothing scraps after youve done your DIY projects!) https://rfer.al/ueHapn_gAKQOOb


Furthermore, by taking better care of your clothing before they get stained or unwearable, it will save you money in the long run and make them last much longer. Especially with the rise of fast fashion, synthetic fibers can deteriorate easily in the wash or if not cared for properly leading to more clothing ending up in landfill. Every time you wash an item it wears out the fabric, so one thing you can do is wash your items less. Especially with jeans; you can wear these 5-10 times before washing (as long as they don't smell too bad)! Also check the care tags on your garments to make sure you are following the wash instructions correctly. When in doubt, wash on a delicate cycle with cold water and air dry more delate items. Special fabrics like silk and wool should not be machine washed and may need to be handwashed or dry cleaned. You should also wash similar type fabrics together. I was always taught to separate laundry by color, and this does matter when you are washing something for the first time because the dye can oftentimes bleed into other clothing. However, I have learned that laundry should really be separated by fabric type first and foremost - bulkier items together and more delate items together.


Here is another tip: I would recommend using an all natural deodorant that does not have aluminum in it to prevent pit stains. Most deodorants can turn your white garments yellow in the armpit area which can be really tricky to get out. What I like to do when I do get those yellow armpit stains is pretreat them right away: soak them in cold water with a cup of vinegar. Then I use oxyclean, or you can treat with a 1:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to get the stain out.


Dawn dish soap is another great tool that is great for getting out oil/grease stains.


Delicates and swimwear should always be washed on delicate or handwashed and hung dry.


When storing shoes out of season, stuff them with socks or tissue paper to help them maintain their shape and helps them look better and store better.


Some cleaning products that I recommend you have for your shoes:

1. Jason Mark Premium Shoe Cleaner (mainly for sneakers and rubber soled shoes)

2. Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam - great for leather shoes to keep them looking nice and shiny

3. Antibacterial wipe, nail polish remover, or rubbing alcohol are also great for removing scuffs and stains, but don't use this on suede or leather!


I know it seems like a lot of extra work, but if you take the extra time and care with your clothing and make it part of your routine, you'll be so thankful when your favorite clothing items are still looking great years later, trust me! Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks for prolonging the life of your clothing!


Alexandra Selig

3 min read

Feb 12

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0

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